The Kalevala - Rune XLV

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Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Heard the word in Sariola,
Heard the Dews with ears of envy,
That Wainola lives and prospers,
That Osmoinen's wealth increases,
Through the ruins of the Sampo,
Ruins of the lid in colors.
Thereupon her wrath she kindled,
Well considered, long reflected,
How she might prepare destruction
For the people of Wainola,
For the tribes of Kalevala.
With this prayer she turns to Ukko,
Thus entreats the god of thunder:
"Ukko, thou who art in heaven,
Help me slay Wainola's people
With thine iron-hail of justice,
With thine arrows tipped with lightning,
Or from sickness let them perish,
Let them die the death deserving;
Let the men die in the forest,
And the women in the hurdles!"
The blind daughter of Tuoni,
Old and wicked witch, Lowyatar,
Worst of all the Death-land women,
Ugliest of Mana's children,
Source of all the host of evils,
All the ills and plagues of Northland,
Black in heart, and soul, and visage,
Evil genius of Lappala,
Made her couch along the wayside,
On the fields of sin and sorrow;
Turned her back upon the East-wind,
To the source of stormy weather,
To the chilling winds of morning.
When the winds arose at evening,
Heavy-laden grew Lowyatar,
Through the east-wind's impregnation,
On the sand-plains, vast and barren.
Long she bore her weight of trouble,
Many morns she suffered anguish,
Till at last she leaves the desert,
Makes her couch within the forest,
On a rock upon the mountain;
Labors long to leave her burden
By the mountain-springs and fountains,
By the crystal waters flowing,
By the sacred stream and whirlpool,
By the cataract and fire-stream;
But her burden does not lighten.
Blind Lowyatar, old and ugly,
Knew not where to look for succor,
How to lose her weight of sorrow,
Where to lay her evil children.
Spake the Highest from the heavens,
These, the words of mighty Ukko:
"Is a triangle in Swamp-field,
Near the border of the ocean,
In the never-pleasant Northland,
In the dismal Sariola;
Thither go and lay thy burden,
In Pohyola leave thine offspring;
There the Laplanders await thee,
There will bid thy children welcome."
Thereupon the blind Lowyatar,
Blackest daughter of Tuoni,
Mana's old and ugly maiden,
Hastened on her journey northward,
To the chambers of Pohyola,
To the ancient halls of Louhi,
There to lay her heavy burdens,
There to leave her evil offspring.
Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Old and toothless witch of Pohya,
Takes Lowyatar to her mansion;
Silently she leads the stranger
To the bath-rooms of her chamber,
Pours the foaming beer of barley,
Lubricates the bolts and hinges,
That their movements may be secret,
Speaks these measures to Lowyatar:
"Faithful daughter of Creation,
Thou most beautiful of women,
First and last of ancient mothers,
Hasten on thy feet to ocean,
To the ocean's centre hasten,
Take the sea-foam from the waters,
Take the honey of the mermaids,
And anoint thy sacred members,
That thy labors may be lightened.
"Should all this be unavailing,
Ukko, thou who art in heaven,
Hasten hither, thou art needed,
Come thou to thy child in trouble,
Help the helpless and afflicted.
Take thy golden-colored sceptre,
Charm away opposing forces,
Strike the pillars of the stronghold,
Open all resisting portals,
That the great and small may wander
From their ancient hiding-places,
Through the courts and halls of freedom."
Finally the blind Lowyatar,
Wicked witch of Tuonela,
Was delivered of her burden,
Laid her offspring in the cradle,
Underneath the golden covers.
Thus at last were born nine children,
In an evening of the summer,
From Lowyatar, blind and ancient,
Ugly daughter of Tuoni.
Faithfully the virgin-mother
Guards her children in affection,
As an artist loves and nurses
What his skillful hands have fashioned.
Thus Lowyatar named her offspring,
Colic, Pleurisy, and Fever,
Ulcer, Plague, and dread Consumption,
Gout, Sterility, and Cancer.
And the worst of these nine children
Blind Lowyatar quickly banished,
Drove away as an enchanter,
To bewitch the lowland people,
To engender strife and envy.
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Banished all the other children
To the fog-point in the ocean,
To the island forest-covered;
Banished all the fatal creatures,
Gave these wicked sons of evil
To the people of Wainola,
To the youth of Kalevala,
For the Kalew-tribe's destruction.
Quick Wainola's maidens sicken,
Young and aged, men and heroes,
With the worst of all diseases,
With diseases new and nameless;
Sick and dying is Wainola.
Thereupon old Wainamoinen,
Wise and wonderful enchanter,
Hastens to his people's rescue,
Hastens to a war with Mana,
To a conflict with Tuoni,
To destroy the evil children
Of the evil maid, Lowyatar.
Wainamoinen heats the bath-rooms,
Heats the blocks of healing-sandstone
With the magic wood of Northland,
Gathered by the sacred river;
Water brings in covered buckets
From the cataract and whirlpool;
Brooms he brings enwrapped with ermine,
Well the bath the healer cleanses,
Softens well the brooms of birch-wood;
Then a honey-heat be wakens,
Fills the rooms with healing vapors,
From the virtue of the pebbles
Glowing in the heat of magic,
Thus he speaks in supplication:
"Come, O Ukko, to my rescue,
God of mercy, lend thy presence,
Give these vapor-baths new virtues,
Grant to them the powers of healing,
And restore my dying people;
Drive away these fell diseases,
Banish them to the unworthy,
Let the holy sparks enkindle,
Keep this heat in healing limits,
That it may not harm thy children,
May not injure the afflicted.
When I pour the sacred waters
On the heated blocks of sandstone,
May the water turn to honey
Laden with the balm of healing.
Let the stream of magic virtues
Ceaseless flow to all my children,
From this bath enrolled in sea-moss,
That the guiltless may not suffer,
That my tribe-folk may not perish,
Till the Master gives permission,
Until Ukko sends his minions,
Sends diseases of his choosing,
To destroy my trusting people.
Let the hostess of Pohyola,
Wicked witch that sent these troubles,
Suffer from a gnawing conscience,
Suffer for her evil doings.
Should the Master of Wainola
Lose his magic skill and weaken,
Should he prove of little service
To deliver from misfortune,
To deliver from these evils,
Then may Ukko be our healer,
Be our strength and wise Physician.
"Omnipresent God of mercy,
Thou who livest in the heavens,
Hasten hither, thou art needed,
Hasten to thine ailing children,
To observe their cruel tortures,
To dispel these fell diseases,
Drive destruction from our borders.
Bring with thee thy mighty fire-sword,
Bring to me thy blade of lightning,
That I may subdue these evils,
That these monsters I may banish,
Send these pains, and ills, and tortures,
To the empire of Tuoni,
To the kingdom of the east-winds,
To the islands of the wicked,
To the caverns of the demons,
To the rocks within the mountains,
To the hidden beds of iron,
That the rocks may fall and sicken,
And the beds of iron perish.
Rocks and metals do not murmur
At the hands of the invader.
"Torture-daughter of Tuoni,
Sitting on the mount of anguish,
At the junction of three rivers,
Turning rocks of pain and torture,
Turn away these fell diseases
Through the virtues of the blue-stone;
Lead them to the water-channels,
Sink them in the deeps of ocean,
Where the winds can never find them,
Where the sunlight never enters.
"Should this prayer prove unavailing,
O, Health-virgin, maid of beauty
Come and heal my dying people,
Still their agonies and anguish.,
Give them consciousness and comfort,
Give them healthful rest and slumber;
These diseases take and banish,
Take them in thy copper vessel,
To thy eaves within the mountains,
To the summit of the Pain-rock,
Hurl them to thy boiling caldrons.
In the mountain is a touch-stone,
Lucky-stone of ancient story,
With a hole bored through the centre,
Through this pour these pains and tortures,
Wretched feelings, thoughts of evil,
Human ailments, days unlucky,
Tribulations, and misfortunes,
That they may not rise at evening,
May not see the light of morning."
Ending thus, old Wainamoinen,
The eternal, wise enchanter,
Rubbed his sufferers with balsams,
Rubbed the tissues, red and painful,
With the balm of healing flowers,
Balsams made of herbs enchanted,
Sprinkled all with healing vapors,
Spake these words in supplication.
"Ukko, thou who art in heaven,
God of justice, and of mercy,
Send us from the east a rain-cloud,
Send a dark cloud from the North-west,
From the north let fall a third one,
Send us mingled rain and honey,
Balsam from the great Physician,
To remove this plague of Northland.
What I know of healing measures,
Only comes from my Creator;
Lend me, therefore, of thy wisdom,
That I may relieve my people,
Save them from the fell destroyer,
If my hands should fall in virtue,
Let the hands of Ukko follow,
God alone can save from trouble.
Come to us with thine enchantment,
Speak the magic words of healing,
That my people may not perish;
Give to all alleviation
From their sicknesses and sorrows;
In the morning, in the evening,
Let their wasting ailments vanish;
Drive the Death-child from Wainola,
Nevermore to visit Northland,
Never in the course of ages,
Never while the moonlight glimmers
O'er the lakes of Kalevala."
Wainamoinen, the enchanter,
The eternal wisdom-singer,
Thus expelled the nine diseases,
Evil children or Lowyatar,
Healed the tribes of Kalevala,
Saved his people from destruction.

© Elias Lönnrot